Reportedly, the QAS Emergency Management Unit was set in inner Brisbane. This disaster exercise examined a joint multinational response to a destructive earthquake impacting Brisbane’s inner city and suburbs.
With Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) and Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) from across the Asia-Pacific region joining agencies from across Australia and New Zealand, the scenario focussed heavily on integrating the coordination and operations of multiple international responders.
The QAS and Queensland Health representatives were tasked with the roles of credentialling, tasking, and coordinating international medical teams from the United States, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan, as well as several Australian-based Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and two of Australia’s own Medical Assistance Teams.
Coordinating the initial response and tasking of international medical teams, EMU’s Executive Manager Rick Tenthy said, “Queensland has very robust disaster management arrangements, and our service is very experienced in implementing operational systems, particularly for severe weather-related events.
“Approaching disasters of the magnitude portrayed in the exercise scenario builds on our existing arrangements and adds to the complexity. We recognise that even with the support of our state and federal partners, we would find it challenging to meet the needs of our community, and this disaster exercise reinforces to us the importance of a coordinated multinational effort,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Steve Zsombok also extended his heartfelt gratitude. He said, “We are extremely grateful to the Japanese EMT members who shared their significant operational experience and insights, and their support was pivotal to us integrating multiple international partners into an integrated response during the initial phase of the scenario.”
Deputy Commissioner Steve Zsombok took the time to thank the Japanese team members and present them each with a QA plaque to acknowledge their support and share their unique expertise across the Asia-Pacific region.